White Sox

White Sox bringing back veteran catcher Geovany Soto on minor league deal

White Sox bringing back veteran catcher Geovany Soto on minor league deal

The White Sox have added a veteran to their 2017 catching mix as Geovany Soto agreed to return on a minor league deal on Thursday, a baseball source said.

Soto — who hit .269/.321/.487 with four home runs in 86 plate appearances for the Los Angeles Angels last season — previously played in 78 games for the White Sox in 2015.

With the organization’s lack of experienced options behind the plate, the veteran catcher, an ex-Cub and the 2008 National League Rookie of the Year, has a good chance to make the club’s Opening Day roster.

Soto hit .219/.301/.406 with nine home runs and 21 RBIs in 210 plate appearances for the 2015 club when he split playing time with Tyler Flowers. Both catchers were allowed to depart after that season, and the White Sox signed free agents Dioner Navarro and Alex Avila with the hope they’d offer the team more offensive production.

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The team’s catchers both struggled in 2016, and Navarro was traded to Toronto in late August while injuries limited Avila to 57 games. Avila’s disabled list trips opened up playing time for rookie Omar Narvaez, who caught 34 games and showed promise.

Avila returned to the Detroit Tigers on a one-year contract last month, leaving Narvaez and Kevan Smith, who caught seven games last season, as the only catchers with big league experience on the 40-man roster.  

While the White Sox have identified 2016 first-round pick Zack Collins as their catcher of the future, he’s likely to spend all of 2017 in the minors. With the team now in a rebuild, the plan is to give Collins every chance to improve his catching skills. The 2016 Johnny Bench Award winner spent most of the 2016 Arizona Fall League catching bullpen sessions in an attempt to improve behind the plate. He’s expected to start the season at Single-A Winston-Salem.

The Score's Bruce Levine first reported that Soto signed with the White Sox.

Prospects Zack Burdi, Luis Basabe to begin rehab stints in White Sox minors

Prospects Zack Burdi, Luis Basabe to begin rehab stints in White Sox minors

Tommy John surgeries have knocked out two top White Sox pitching prospects for 2019 (Michael Kopech and Dane Dunning), but one pitching prospect is set to make a notable step in his return from the surgery.

Zack Burdi will join Single-A Kannapolis on a rehab stint on Monday. Burdi had Tommy John surgery in July of 2017. In his first game action since the surgery, he made seven appearances last August with the Arizona League White Sox (rookie level). The Downers Grove native made five more appearances in the Arizona Fall League before being pulled from the league due to “general fatigue.” He talked about his recovery process on an episode of the White Sox Talk Podcast.

In spring training, Burdi was not invited to major league camp and he wasn’t on a minor league roster when the season began. With this news, he is set to hit another milestone in his return. If all goes well in Kannapolis, it is expected that Burdi will join Triple-A Charlotte, where he was in 2017 when he got hurt.

If Burdi can recapture his stuff, which profiled him as a back end of the bullpen pitcher, he could even join the White Sox sometime in 2019. He has to show he is healthy and back to his old self first though. The 24-year-old was taken with the 26th pick in the 2016 draft and is the No. 16 prospect in the system according to MLB Pipeline.

Another prospect will be joining Burdi in Kannapolis on a rehab assignment. Outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe, No. 7 prospect in the system, will also join the Intimidators on Monday. Basabe broke the hamate bone in his left hand during batting practice in spring training. It was initially estimated that he would return in late May, so Basabe appears to be ahead of schedule. The 22-year-old spent the second half of 2019 with Double-A Birmingham and is expected to return there after rehabbing with Kannapolis.

Elsewhere on the White Sox prospect injury watch, Luis Robert left a game on Saturday with soreness in his left hand and is reportedly day-to-day. He was hit by a pitch in the first game of a doubleheader for Single-A Winston-Salem. He made one at-bat in the second game, a leadoff groundout, and then was taken out of the game. He did not play on Sunday.

Robert endured an injury-plagued 2018. He was limited to 50 games, but has been on fire early in 2019. Robert leads the Carolina League in batting average (.475), home runs (6), hits (28), runs (16), on-base percentage (.530) and slugging percentage (.915) and is tied for the league lead in RBIs (18) and stolen bases (7).

 

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Saturday's White Sox-Tigers game postponed due to rain; makeup scheduled for August

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USA TODAY

Saturday's White Sox-Tigers game postponed due to rain; makeup scheduled for August

The White Sox and Tigers were likely to start Saturday's game (12:10 p.m. CT) in a rain delay. Instead, the game has been pushed back altogether.

With rain expected all afternoon in Detroit, Saturday's game has been postponed. A makeup is scheduled for Aug. 6 at 12:10 p.m. as part of a split doubleheader. The originally scheduled game will start at 6:10 p.m. CT.

According to a press release, all paid tickets from Saturday's game will be valid for the first game of the doubleheader.

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